I was at comic con at the weekend in London and learnt two things in particular: I never want to live there and that conventions are quite literally impulse-buy markets. Seriously, I spent so much money on things that I neither really want or need. The most telling part of this is the fact that you have to pay for the privilege of meeting another human being. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure Natalie Dormer is a lovely person but no-one’s that nice that a donation of sixty-pounds is necessary for her to write some hollow bullshit on a picture of herself.
In the aftermath, I am making the mistake of analysing the day and my purchases which is slowly ruining the memory considering it was over a fiver for a very mediocre hotdog. As I glance over to the fifteen-pounds bobble head I panic a little over the money I have and don’t have. Yet despite the obvious financial costs, comic con is worth it just for the sense of atmosphere and a strange unity that you might get from being at a football match, for instance. Everyone there had come to show support for something or someone whether it be a celebrity or an anime. Of course, if the words ‘I think Game of Thrones is over-hyped’ slips your lips then expect swift and righteous crucifixion.
Oddly enough, like a football match, I witnessed a small fight break out between a man running a stall and an oblivious selfie-taker. There was a large bust of Arnold Schwarzenegger that someone had touched and it all took a sour turn which was quickly dealt with by security. Yet unlike in normal circumstances, people turned away and made a point to avoid the confrontation rather than actively spectate. Maybe it highlights the fallacy of comic con: being absorbed in the fiction all around, actively trying to avoid the reality. Much like buying for the sake of buying, we do it because it’s all a part of the comic con experience and deviation is totally avoided. Just spent seventy-five-pounds to get a picture with Mads Mikkelsen? Worth every penny, pal.
The best moments from my experience this year came not from spending money at all but from – for lack of a better phrase – sitcom humour. It started around eleven in the morning when my friend bought some naturally overpriced nachos and a cola which ended up down him and the floor when he held back a sneeze. Honestly, I have never cried from laughter until that moment and his panicked words ‘what do I do?’ made it even worse. The whole frame of the somewhat stunned nineteen-year-old standing atop a mess of salsa and Pepsi, while the workers at the food cart all muttered ‘what the fuck’, was perhaps better than the last four seasons of The Big Bang Theory.
The second was perhaps the best and it happened some time later while we were sat waiting for another friend to get his picture taken with Natalie Dormer – again sixty-pounds is definitely worth it, why would anyone question if it was a waste? We were there for a long time and the only free element of the day being the Wi-Fi was spotty at best and required a field of personal details to be filled in, odd for ‘free’ connection. It was my same salsa-stained friend who, to pass the time, began singing ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ by John Denver and began to rock to the tune. At the very same time, the person that he wanted to meet the most of all the guests there, Alyson Hannigan walked past. The face she pulled was similar to that of the food sellers – ‘what the fuck’ – and so, confused by his performance she quickly moved on by. My friend let out a little whimper and seemed to die.
Naturally I pulled out the classic: ‘it’s just nacho day’.